Heat Wave

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14/07/2022 | Press release

IFRC warns that the growing heatwave in Europe could have tragic consequences

Budapest, 14 July 2022 - Extreme temperatures have spiraled countries into dangerous heat waves and wildfires across Europe. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) urges cities and communities to prepare to avoid a further disaster. Since May, Europe has been among the fastest “heat wave hot spots” in the world. Forecasts show no sign of abating. Many parts of western Europe are experiencing extreme temperatures and countries like Portugal are battling raging wildfires, impacting thousands of people. “With the climate crisis, this heat is part of our ‘new normal’,” says Maarten Aalst van, Director of the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre. “These deadly events are now more frequent and more intense.” In the past ten years, climate- and weather-related disasters have killed more than 400,000 people, affected 1.7 billion others and displaced an average of 25 million people each year world-wide.The people most at risk of heat waves include older people, children, pregnant women, and those with pre-existing health conditions. Heat waves have cascading impacts in other areas of society, such as reduced economic output, strained health systems and rolling power outages. Staff and volunteers from National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies across the region are supporting communities preparing for and impacted by the heat waves. At the same time, teams are responding to the devastating wildfires most notably in Portugal, but also Spain, Italy, France, Greece and Turkey brought on by the extreme heat. “Many have had to evacuate their homes with the few things they can carry," saysAna Jorge, President of the Portuguese Red Cross."Our medical teams are focused on ensuring people are getting to safety, providing critical health care to those suffering from burns and other injuries and providing them with a bed to sleep in and the necessities as they decide their next steps.” With heat waves becoming more likely around the world as the climate crisis worsens, more preparedness and early warning systems are required to reduce and manage the risks. “People are not always aware of the dangers of heat. But when communities understand the risks and take simple measures to prepare for it, they can prevent unnecessary tragedies,” says van Aalst. “We urge cities and communities to prepare and take the necessary steps to save lives, now and in the long term.” For more information and to arrange an interview: In Budapest: Corrie Butler,[email protected]+36 704306506 In Athens: Georgia Trismpioti, [email protected] +30 6971809031 Note to Editors: IFRC’s Heat Wave Guide for Citiesand Urban Action Kitare resources for city officials, urban planners and community organizations to anticipate and plan for extreme urban heat and reduce deadly risks. C40’s Urban Cooling Toolboxprovides approaches to lower urban temperatures and reduce the impact of the urban heat effect; the Heat Resilient Cities Benefit Toolhelps city planners and decision-makers quantify the health, economic and environmental benefits of adaptation actions. A heat wave is an extended period of unusually high temperatures and often high humidity. Extreme heat can cause shock, dehydration and other acute illnesses, and worsen cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. There is now a mountain of evidence that climate change is increasing the occurrence of deadly heat waves. For instance, scientists have concluded that climate change has made the 2022 heat wave in India and Pakistan 30 times more likely, the 2019 heat wave in western Europe at least 10 times more likely, the 2019-20 heat wave in Australia that contributed to the devastating bushfires 10 times more likely, and that the extreme heat in the northwest US and Canada in 2021 would have been virtually impossible without climate change. For details, see for instance, the World Weather Attribution analyses.

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14/06/2022 | Press release

IFRC and C40 Cities urge cities to prepare for more dangerous and deadly heat waves

14 June 2022, Geneva, New York—Heat waves are becoming more frequent, longer, hotter and deadlier, especially in urban areas, but the threats they pose are preventable if cities and residents are prepared for extreme heat and take steps to save lives. The past seven years, from 2015 to 2021, have been the hottest on record and this year is already a punishing one. The life-threatening temperature spikes seen in recent months across India, Pakistan, East Asia and southern Europe and this week’s unusually intense, early-season heat wave gripping parts of the United States are an ominous sign of what is to come as the world gets warmer. Every year, increasingly scorching temperatures put millions of people at risk of heat-related illnesses and claim the lives of thousands of others. People living in cities are hardest hit because urban areas are warmer than the surrounding countryside and are getting hotter due to climate change. Those most at risk are already vulnerable—the elderly and isolated, infants, pregnant women, those with pre-existing ailments and the urban poor, who often work outdoors or live and work in buildings without air conditioning or adequate ventilation. But deaths from heat waves are not inevitable. Five billion people live in places that are prone to heat waves and where early warning systems can predict them before they happen. “Heat waves are the silent killers of climate change, but they don’t have to be,” says Francesco Rocca, President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). “Most heat waves are forecast days or weeks in advance, giving ample time to act early and inform and protect the most vulnerable. The good news is that there are simple and low-cost actions authorities can take to prevent unnecessary deaths from heat.” Ahead of the summer season in many parts of the world, IFRC is launching its first global Heat Action Day, today, 14 June—mobilizing branches and partners in over 50 cities to hold awareness-raising events about ways to reduce severe impacts of extreme heat. The IFRC is also partnering with C40 Cities to call on city officials, urban planners, and city residents in every region of the world to prepare for more dangerous and deadly heat waves. “Cities that are used to hot weather need to prepare for even longer periods of sweltering heat and cooler cities need to prepare for levels of extreme heat that they are not accustomed to,” says Mark Watts, Executive Director of C40 Cities. “From Miami to Mumbai and Athens to Abidjan, mayors in our network are increasing green spaces, expanding cool roof programmes and collaborating on heat actions to improve resilience to rising urban heat. But far more work is needed to reduce andmanage risks as the climate crisis worsens.” TheC40 Cool Cities Networksupports cities to embed heat risk and management in their climate action plans, develop heat resilience studies, and develop, fine-tune and measure impacts of heat mitigation action, including cooling, greening and emergency management.The network has held intensive workshops on urban heat and equity, developed resources to guide heat action plans and, over the past two years, supported cities in managing the compound crises of extreme heat alongside the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on outreach to vulnerable populations. Across the globe, National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies are rising to the extreme heat challenge—supporting and improving local and national heat action plans, spreading messages to the public on heat safety, checking in on the most vulnerable, distributing water, supporting medical services, identifying and setting up cooling centres, and even helping people retrofit their homes to improve shade and reduce heat. They’re also expanding research on heat to parts of Africa, Asia and South America that have been overlooked in the past. “The climate crisis is driving and intensifying humanitarian crisis in every region of the world,” says Rocca. “But when cities and communities are better prepared, extreme weather doesn’t have to become a disaster or a tragedy.” Note to Editors: IFRC’s “Heat Wave Guide for Cities” and “Urban Action Kit” are resources for city officials, urban planners and community organizations to anticipate and plan for extreme urban heat and reduce deadly risks. C40’s “Urban Cooling Toolbox” provides approaches to lower urban temperatures and reduce the impact of the urban heat effect; the “Heat Resilient Cities Benefit Tool” helps city planners and decision-makers quantify the health, economic and environmental benefits of adaptation actions. A heat wave is an extended period of unusually high temperatures and often high humidity. Extreme heat can cause shock, dehydration and other acute illnesses, and worsen cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. There is now a mountain of evidence that climate change is increasing the occurrence of deadly heat waves. Scientists have concluded that climate change has made the 2022 heat wave in India and Pakistan 30 times more likely, the 2019 heat wave in western Europe 100 times more likely and the 2019-20 heat wave in Australia 10 times more likely. Images and Video for use by media outlets: Follow thisTwitter thread to access videos and photos of global Heat Action Day events. Heat emergency response images can be accessedhere For more information or 1:1 interviews, contact: IFRC: Melissa Winkler, [email protected], +41 76 2400 324 IFRC: Tommaso Della Longa, [email protected], +41 79 708 43 67 C40 Cities: Rolf Rosenkranz, rro[email protected] IFRC is the world’s largest humanitarian network, comprising 192 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies working to save lives, build community resilience, strengthen localization and promote dignity around the world.www.ifrc.org - Facebook-Twitter-YouTube C40 Citiesis a network of nearly 100 mayors of the world’s leading cities who are working to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis and create a future where everyone, everywhere can thrive. Mayors of C40 cities are committed to using a science-based and people-focused approach to help the world limit global heating to 1.5°C and build healthy, equitable and resilient communities.www.C40.org-Twitter-Instagram-Facebook-LinkedIn

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23/03/2022 | Basic page

Heat Action Day

Climate change is turning up the heat around the world. But together, we can #BeatTheHeat! On June 14, Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies performed coordinated heat wave flash mobs in public spaces to raise awareness of heat risks and share simple ways to #BeatTheHeat.

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20/08/2021 | Emergency type

Heat waves

A heat wave is an extended period of unusually high temperatures and often high humidity.They are expected to become more frequent and more severe in future due to climate change. People affected by heat waves cansufferfrom shock, becomedehydrated and developserious heat illnesses. Heat waves can also worsenchronic cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.

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02/08/2021 | Press release

Hundreds of Red Cross Red Crescent volunteers responding to wildfires across Europe

Ankara/Budapest/Geneva, 2 August 2021 – Volunteers from Greece, Italy, Russia, Spain, and Turkey are responding to several wildfires raging across Europe. Scorching temperatures, high winds and tinder dry conditions have forced rescues by sea and land, with thousands of people fleeing for their lives with just the clothes on their backs. In southern Turkey eight people have died and scores are injured. Hundreds of animals have been killed and countless homes lost in the worst hit areas of Antalya and Bodrum. More than 2,000 Turkish Red Crescent staff and volunteers are on the ground. Shafiquzzaman Rabbani, Acting Head of Turkey delegation for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said: “We are very concerned at this week’s weather forecast, with temperatures tipped to reach as high as 40 degrees Celsius in Antalya today. Teams of Turkish Red Crescent volunteers and staff are doing everything they can to assist those affected.” Turkish Red Crescent is providing food through its mobile kitchens, distributing water and hygiene kits, and providing shelter and psychosocial support to firefighters and affected communities. In Greece, Hellenic Red Cross rescuers and lifeguards have been evacuating trapped people by boat from the settlements of Kamares, Longos and Platiri. Earlier in the week they were helping the fire brigade quell a fire in Patras. Extreme temperatures forecast for this week have teams on high alert. Italian Red Cross has been assisting with evacuations in Sardinia and distributing water and food. They have delivered animal feed to farmers as fires continued over the weekend. More than 800 flare-ups were recorded this weekend, mainly in the south, and firefighters continue to flight blazes in Sicily. Spanish Red Cross volunteers have also been busy this weekend assisting at a fire at San Juan reservoir, 70km from Madrid, and 25 Russian Red Cross volunteers are still at the scene of a fire in Karelia, distributing food, water, bedding, hygiene kits and personal protective equipment to people affected. IFRC Europe’s acting head of Disaster, Climate and Crises Antoine Belair said the increasing number of wildfires year on year across the Mediterranean is linked to climate change causing more extreme weather conditions, including lower rainfall and higher temperatures. “Extreme weather conditions exacerbate risks of these events. Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies remain on high alert, providing support to affected populations, in close coordination with national authorities and firefighter teams,” he said. Footnote: Advice on how to prepare for a forest fire can be viewed here. For more information, please contact: In Ankara: Elif Isik, +90 539 857 5197, [email protected] In Budapest: Corinne Ambler, +36 704 306 506, [email protected] In Geneva: Nathalie Perroud, +41 79 538 14 71, [email protected]

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07/07/2021 | Press release

IFRC warns human-caused climate change made record-breaking heatwave 150 times more likely, putting lives at risk

Geneva, 8 July 2021 - Recent rocketing temperatures are having a severe impact on millions of people and putting lives at risk, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has warned. Last week’s record-breaking heatwave in parts of the US and Canada, would have been virtually impossible without the influence of human-caused climate change. This is according to a rapid attribution analysis[1] by an international team of leading climate scientists and the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre. The analysis found that climate change, caused by greenhouse gas emissions, made the heatwave at least 150 times more likely to happen. IFRC President Francesco Rocca said:“Right now, we are witnessing heat records topple as temperatures rise, with terrifying consequences for millions of people around the world. “We are responding on the ground, and thanks to our investment in anticipatory action, we are able to better prepare for these crises.” From wildfires and drought to heat exhaustion and serious heat-related health risks, communities across the globe are struggling to cope with the increased temperatures and frequency of heatwaves. “The Red Cross and Red Crescent network cannot combat the devastating impact of the climate crisis alone,” added Rocca. “There must be a concerted global effort to deal with the climate emergency, which represents the biggest threat to the future of the planet and its people.” National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies are working with those hit hardest by the current heatwaves and those who are most at risk from soaring temperatures - including older people, homeless people, people with COVID-19 and underlying health conditions, those living in isolated areas, and refugees and migrants. The Head of the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, Maarten van Aalst, said: "Heatwaves topped the global charts of deadliest disasters in both 2019 and 2020. Here we have another terrible example - sadly no longer a surprise but part of a very worrying global trend. Many of these deaths can be prevented by adaptation to the hotter heatwaves that we are confronting in the Americas and around the world.” In the US, American Red Cross teams are working in cooling centres and shelters to support people escaping the dangerous heatwaves, while the Canadian Red Cross is on hand to work with emergency services to respond to deadly wildfires. In Europe, Red Cross volunteers are providing health and social care support to older and vulnerable people put in danger by the scorching temperatures. In Pakistan this year, some of the hottest temperatures on record have scorched areas of Sindh province and Pakistan Red Crescent health teams have been helping people, including bike riders and others exposed to extreme heat as they are compelled to work outside earning daily wages. In Afghanistan, the Afghan Red Crescent and the IFRC are working together to provide urgent cash and food assistance for more than 210,000 people, as one of the worst droughts in decades threatens the food and water supplies. In the Middle East, Red Crescent Societies, including those in Iran, Iraq and Syria, have been responding to the drought affecting the lives of millions of people. In Saudi Arabia, the Red Crescent has organized a nationwide campaign on mitigating the health hazards caused by the temperatures climbing up to 50C. As the number of climate-related emergencies increase globally each year,the IFRC and its National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies are increasing their support to the most vulnerable communities around the world. In 2020, 75 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies received nearly 37 million dollars to support 109 emergency operations - the majority of which were floods and cyclones in the Asia Pacific region and Africa. [1] Link will be live from 00.01am CET 8 July 2021

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18/06/2021 | Press release

Red Cross Red Crescent sounds the alarm over deadly combination of heat and COVID-19

Budapest/Geneva, 18 June 2021 – A looming heatwave in parts of Europe poses a deadly threat to the most vulnerable in our society, and action is urgently needed to protect them, said the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). According to European meteorological offices, Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland and Sweden can expect temperatures above 30°C this weekend. In Berlin, they may climb up to 35°C, which is 13°C higher than the average in this time of year. Dr Davron Mukhamadiev, IFRC Regional Health and Care Coordinator for Europe, said: “The double risk of heat and COVID-19 will be particularly dangerous for our most vulnerable – homeless, migrants, older people, pregnant women and those with chronic conditions. As temperatures soar, these people are at heightened risk. It is crucial for governments and civil society to increase support for them. Lives are at stake.” Heatwaves are the deadliest type of disaster in the Europe region. Increasingly common, they can aggravate pre-existing conditions and cause serious health problems. According to the latest edition of IFRC’s World Disasters Report, published in November, three heatwaves affecting Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom in 2019 caused more than 3,400 deaths. In 2020, risks associated with these extreme weather events were compounded by COVID-19. While there is a perception that we are at the beginning of the end of the pandemic, every day in Europe more than 52,000 new COVID-19 casesare detected and 1,200 people die on average. Dr Mukhamadiev highlighted that IFRC is supporting National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies across Europe to expand their services during the warmest months, including providing first aid, helping people access health services and checking in on isolated and at-risk people. “French Red Cross is assisting the homeless, while Belgian Red Cross is vaccinating people living in the streets or in informal settlements as well as undocumented migrants. Austrian Red Cross is opening up cooling centres in cities, and the Netherlands Red Cross is visiting thousands of older people to share life-saving tips about staying cool and safe,” he explained. Experts are also concerned that as lockdowns ease and people grow tired of wearing masks in the heat, many will become infected and contaminate others. This, along with holiday travel, could lead to a new deadly wave across the region in autumn, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) “We cannot let our guard down. Staying cautious and following preventive measures on COVID-19 and heatwaves is more important than ever. Otherwise, health systems could again be overwhelmed and a spike in deaths may follow,” underlined Dr Mukhamadiev.

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29/07/2020 | Press release

Red Cross calls on people to check on neighbours and loved ones during dangerous heatwave

Budapest/Geneva, 29 July 2020 – As temperatures soar across Europe, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is calling on the public to check on neighbours and loved ones who might struggle to cope with the searing heat. According to European meteorological offices, France, Greece, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and Romania can expect temperatures in the mid to high 30s during the week., with Paris and Madrid forecast to reach around 40°C on Friday. To prevent loss of life, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is urging people to check in on their vulnerable neighbours, relatives and friends while following COVID-19 safety measures. IFRC’s acting health coordinator for Europe, Dr Aneta Trgachevska, said: “Some older people are unable to spend on things like air conditioning. They may be socially isolated. When coupled with thermoregulation problems, reduced water intake and physical ability and chronic diseases, there could potentially be a large at-risk group.” IFRC is also concerned about the potential compounding impact of COVID-19 during this period of soaring temperatures, said Dr Trgachevska: “Managing the impact of heat and COVID-19 at the same time poses a challenge to frontline workers, health care systems and local communities. The spread of COVID-19 will not stop in summer. On the contrary, it increases the risk of extreme heat by compromising our usual coping strategies.” People who would usually visit public places like parks, libraries and shopping malls to find refuge from the heat may be reluctant to leave their homes due to fear of infection. For the same reason, some may be afraid to seek medical care for heat stroke. “While self-isolation is advisable for vulnerable people during a pandemic, during a heatwave it could be life-threatening, especially for people living alone without home cooling systems. To make sure our loved ones and neighbours stay safe, we should check on them daily via phone or video calls. If you need to physically help someone, make sure to follow hygiene rules, such as wearing a mask and washing your hands upon entering someone’s home,” explains Dr. Trgachevska. People who are most vulnerable to heat stress are also those most at risk of COVID-19, including people older than 65, pregnant women, those with underlying health conditions, prisoners and marginalized groups such as homeless people and migrants. Due to the pandemic, health workers and first responders are also more prone to heat stress as they need to wear personal protective equipment. Across Europe, Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers and staff are on high alert to support communities during summer. The Austrian Red Cross operates cooling centres in malls. It also has a mobile app to help people stay safe with a real time heat map and list of cool public places. In Spain, Red Cross volunteers are helping people with disabilities to enjoy a dip in the sea. In Monaco, volunteers are regularly checking in on isolated older people via daily phone calls or physically distanced home visits, and in the Netherlands, they go door-to-door to distribute life-saving information. In several other countries, including Italy and the UK, Red Cross teams are reaching out to vulnerable groups to inform them on how to stay protected from both the heat and COVID-19. Heatwaves can have a catastrophic human toll. In 2003 an estimated 70,000 people died during a record-breaking heatwave in Europe. Climate change is projected to increase the frequency and intensity of heatwaves globally. Some tips to stay cool and safe: Close drapes and shutters during the hottest parts of the day to reduce direct sun exposure When it’s cooler outside, open windows on opposite sides of the building to create a cross-breeze Avoid cooking food indoors during the hottest hours of the day Unplug large electronic devices that produce heat Use an electric fan and set a bowl of cold water or ice in front to create a cold breeze Wear lightweight, light-coloured and loose-fitting clothes Avoid exercise and strenuous activities during the hottest hours of the day Drink plenty of cool water, avoid alcohol and caffeine Some medicines may reduce tolerance to heat. Get medical advice if you are suffering from a chronic medical condition or taking multiple medications. Stay connected, listen to the weather forecast and adapt your plans if necessary Follow social distancing guidance when using shared outdoor spaces such as parks and beaches Ask for medical help in case of signs of heat-related illness. Download the heatwave guide developed by the Red Cross Red Crescent climate centre

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22/07/2019 | Press release

MEDIA ADVISORY: Europe heatwave - Red Cross experts available

Geneva, 22 July 2019 – Red Cross climate experts are available to discuss the potential humanitarian impact of this week’s European heatwave, as well as the simple and affordable steps that can be taken to protect lives. Temperatures are expected to climb to record levels over the coming days, placing huge pressure on health and social welfare systems across the continent, and potentially threatening the lives and well-being of vulnerable people. Red Cross experts can highlight some of the concrete measures that individuals and authorities can take to reduce the potential humanitarian impact of the heatwave. They can also discuss the clear links between climate change and heatwaves and share findings from the Red Cross’ recently released Heatwave Guide for Cities. Available experts include: In New York: Julie Arrighi, Red Cross climate expert and one of the authors of the Heatwave Guide for Cities. In Geneva: Tessa Kelly, Climate Change Coordinator, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

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25/06/2019 | Press release

Red Cross urges public to check on neighbours as Europe braces for heatwave

Budapest/Geneva, 25 June 2019 – The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is calling on people to check on vulnerable neighbours, relatives and friends as Western Europe readies itself for possible record high temperatures. According to European meteorological offices, Belgium, France, Germany, Spain, Hungary and Switzerland can expect temperatures in the mid to high-30s during the week, with temperatures potentially climbing to 40°C in Paris on Thursday (27 June). IFRC’s Europe Region health coordinator Dr Davron Mukhamadiev said: “The coming days will be challenging for a lot of people, but especially older people, young children, and people with underlying illnesses or limited mobility. “Our message this week is simple: look after yourself, your family and your neighbours. A phone call or a knock on the door could save a life.” Across Western Europe, Red Cross staff and volunteers are on high alert. In France, volunteers are patrolling the streets, providing water and hygiene kits and visiting isolated and older people in their homes. “If necessary, the emergency operations centre at our headquarters can be opened to coordinate the response to this emergency,” said French Red Cross spokesperson Alain Rissetto. In Spain, 50 staff in the Red Cross operations centre are currently calling vulnerable and older people to check they are safe and to give advice on how to cope with the heat. And in Belgium volunteers are distributing water and checking on older community members. Climate change is projected to increase the frequency and intensity of heat extremes globally, underscoring the urgent need to manage heatwave risks effectively and to prevent avoidable strain being put on already stretched health care services. The risks are particularly high in cities, where the impacts can be most severe. Heatwaves can have a catastrophic human toll. In 2003, for example, an estimated 70,000 people died during a record-breaking heatwave in Europe. Next month, IFRC and the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre will launch new guidelines designed to help cities better support their vulnerable residents during heatwaves.

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08/10/2018 | Press release

IPCC report: Climate change already making humanitarian work harder, less predictable, more complex, says IFRC

Geneva, 8 October 2018 –Climate change is already making emergency response efforts around the world more difficult, more unpredictable and more complex, according to the world’s largest humanitarian network. This warning from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) coincides with the launch of a UN Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) report that sets out the predicted impacts of both a 1.5°C and a 2.0°C rise in the global average temperature by 2099. IFRC President Francesco Rocca said: “More than half of our operations are now in direct response to weather-related events, and many others are compounded by climate shocks and stresses. If this is the situation now, then it is difficult to comprehend the scale of crises confronting vulnerable communities in a world that is 1.5°C or 2.0°C hotter.” In 2017, IFRC and the global Red Cross and Red Crescent network responded to over 110 emergencies, reaching more than 8 million people. More than half of these were in response to weather-related events. National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies are also bearing witness to rising climate displacement. Weather-related events displaced 23.5 million people in 2016, according to the World Meteorological Organization. Mr Rocca said: “In a 1.5°C-warmer world, more extreme-weather events will affect everyone. But it will be especially cruel for communities that are already struggling to survive because of conflict, insecurity or poverty. “We are already working with some of these communities to help them anticipate and adapt to what might be to come. These efforts need to increase significantly. A higher proportion of global climate finance needs to be dedicated to helping these communities adapt to changing risks. Currently, not event 10 per cent of funding does this.” Dr Maarten van Aalst, a climate scientist and director of the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre based in The Hague, added: “Climate remains at the centre of the international agenda. In 2018, we have seen lethal heatwaves and wildfires across the Northern Hemisphere, including in unexpected places like eastern Canada, Japan and Sweden. A rapid analysis in July by an international group of climate scientists showed that in some European locations climate change made the heatwave at least twice as likely.” Today’s IPCC report sets the scene for COP 24 which opens in Katowice, Poland on 3 December. Mr Rocca said: “COP 24 must deliver a rigorous rule book for how to implement the Paris Agreement. No one can afford half measures; our future existence depends upon it. “IFRC welcomes this IPCC report. We hope this leads to action. Millions of lives – and billions of dollars of disaster response – are at stake.”

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